Church Planting

How Can Local New Testament Churches Challenge Us Today?

New testament church

In previous posts, we looked at the characteristics of Jesus’ movement. We also looked at the movement the apostles continued in Jerusalem. As the movement developed, we see what local assemblies (house churches) looked like. This adds to our understanding of New Testament movements. As we study the scripture below, we can examine our existing views of the church. Let us try to see the passage from the perspective of the early disciples, instead of our own.

What did the disciples in Jerusalem regularly do?

A summary of what the disciples regularly did in their local context, Jerusalem, is found in Acts 2:41-47. read more

Do I Think About Reproducibility at Every Level?

reproducibility

There is a big difference between the way rabbits and elephants reproduce! We know this. It is often referred to when explaining what a Disciple Making Movement is. Movements multiply rapidly. They grow and reproduce organically. Getting your disciples to take off and multiply like rabbits can be easier said than done.

To see rapid, rabbit-style reproduction of disciple makers, you must depend heavily on the Holy Spirit. Many of us lean too much on our own skills and experience as we train disciples. The Holy Spirit lives within even the newest of believers. read more

How Did the Apostles Turn the World Upside Down?

New Testament Movements

A few months ago, we looked at the characteristics of Jesus’ Movement. The most important foundation of all we do in DMMs should be what Jesus taught and did, not Peter or Paul. After reflecting on Jesus’ ways of working, we can learn much from His disciples as well,

Let’s discover some basic characteristics of the Jerusalem movement, led by Peter and the earliest apostles. This movement began after Jesus rose again.

What did the Jerusalem Movement look like?

We’ll look at seven characteristics that affected the apostle’s fruitfulness.These reflect the idea that Peter and the apostles were disciples of Jesus, and followed what He taught and did. We should remember that teaching and practice were integrated. They should not be separated. read more

Why It’s Better Not to Meet in a Church Building

church building

We’ve been looking for a place to have our Discovery Bible Study. I’m so excited! The pastor has said we can use the church! It solves our childcare problem too. We can use the nursery area for the kids.” She sounded so happy. Inside, I cringed. “Oh no! That doesn’t sound like the best option. How do I help her avoid making this strategic mistake?” Gently, I began asking questions. Eventually, she began to see. It’s probably better not to have Discovery groups meet within the church building. Not if her goal is to start a Disciple Making Movement. read more

Quickly Finding and Activating Persons of Peace in a New Area

entry strategy

“How do I get started with DMMs? I’m finding it difficult to find a Person of Peace. I can’t even find someone ready to have a spiritual conversation!” my trainee said. The frustration in her voice was notable. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting an Asian movement leader who has seen incredible fruit. Their movement is now well over 20,000 believers. He shared an excellent entry strategy. As my trainee asked this question, his example came to mind.

To find a Person of Peace, or several at one time, you have to cast your net wide. You can’t “fish” with a pole…you need a big net. The Asian movement leader’s example demonstrated how he did this. read more

What Can We Learn from Jesus’ Movement?

Jesus movement

This week I’m privileged to introduce you to a fellow trainer and coach. In this short video, he addresses the question of how DMMs grow, strictly from a New Testament perspective. In Disciple Making Movements, everything we do and train others to do needs to be built on the foundation of what we see in the life of Jesus.

Jesus’ Movements
WATCH HERE

I hope you will watch this video and gain insights into what we can learn about movements from Jesus himself. He writes further about it in the text that follows.

It was 2011. Having done church planting work since 1997, and planted one church in an unreached area, I received training about a new approach. It was called Church Planting Movements, or Disciple Making Movements (DMM). read more

How an Ordinary Man Launched a Movement of Disciples

ordinary

Stories are powerful and each person’s story unique. I love to listen to the testimonies of the “ordinary” people I coach and train. It’s amazing how God has been at work in each individual’s life bringing them to the place they are today.

A few days ago as I sat and listened to a movement leader’s story. I was once again touched by the power of God to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

He was not outwardly impressive. His English was decent, but not fantastic. The ways God has used him to multiply disciples…that was pretty great though! read more

How Controlling Leaders Can Block Movement Growth

controlling leaders

I see a problem. It’s disturbing my sleep. I wake up praying about it. Know what it is? It’s when Christian leaders don’t release their people to do the work of the ministry.

This issue bothers me because it can block the growth of Disciple Making Movements (DMMs). That must not happen! Leaders, we can not behave this way if we want to see God’s Kingdom spread rapidly through our regions.

It’s not easy to release people. I know. Huge issues arise in our hearts and heads.

Are they ready? Mature enough? What if they fail? What if they succeed (maybe even surpassing me)? read more

Can Children and Teenagers Be Part of a DMM?

children and teenagers

My teenagers need a youth group!” they said, as they told us they were no longer going to join the regular disciple makers meeting. It was disappointing to hear. Concerned parents want to see their children’s spiritual needs met. This can be a real issue. Parents express apprehension about whether their children will get what they need in a DBS or story group. How do we best disciple the children of families in our teams and disciple making groups?

This issue requires us to speak into the parent’s lives in a unique way. It can be difficult. It also creates an opportunity to help those we are training to return to a more biblical style of parenting. One where disciple making happens within families. read more

Are You Willing to Fail Forward?

fail

I must be doing something wrong,” she thought. They had been working for almost ten years in a restricted access nation. They’d pressed through to learn the language, worked hard to build relationships and led a few people to the Lord. Talking with a key church planting movement mentor she asked, “What are we doing wrong? I thought by now we would have seen hundreds of groups/churches begin!

The mentor carefully listened to them describe their disciple making activity. Then he said, “You aren’t doing anything wrong. Movements take time. This mentor had coached well-known movement leaders. They had started thousands and thousands of churches, pioneering the largest movements in history to date. He knew what he was talking about. read more